Fusion Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

30

I finished off my Caramel Chai Pu’erh sampler from Fusion Teas this morning, and since Dethlefsen & Balk has stopped producing it and that was where they were wholesaling it from, they have stopped carrying it; I’m a bit sad about that sipdown since I really enjoyed that particular chai.

I also have brewed up the entire sampler of this tea from Fusion Teas in a few cold brew mason jars, but despite my best efforts I couldn’t hunt down the wholesale source (I could find many strawberry oolongs, but they were all using infused flavor and didn’t include strawberry pieces or blue cornflower petals). So either Fusion is making some additions, or they have just managed to elude me on their sourcing… touche, Fusion, touche! You win this round.

I do have to say that compared to the Strawberry Oolong I get from TeaSource, I am not crazy about this one. It has a much stronger aroma, so one would think this would be quite flavorful, but there is just something about that flavor that just… doesn’t really appeal to me. It tastes too artificial to me, I think… or maybe there is just something about the natural notes of the oolong that is clashing with whatever flavoring has been added to the tea? I’m not sure exactly what the case may be, but something about the taste isn’t meshing for me. I’m getting a slightly acrid peach flavor mixed with a really artificial strawberry flavor, minus the sweetness you’d expect to accompany that sort of strawberry flavor; the vegetal smoothness of the base oolong at least holds through, and it would probably be a good, quality oolong, if this flavoring just wasn’t working for me.

There is a review by Pureleaf on this and I think I’m getting the same sort of flavor experience from this, only finding it a bit more unpleasant, personally. I’ll finish what I’ve steeped up in my water bottles, but am not going to miss it. And may even make a brew of my TeaSource Strawberry Oolong which has a softer but natural and tasty strawberry note added to a green oolong to wash this away.

Of course this one is still available for ordering, and it’s the one that won’t be missed. C’est la vie.

Flavors: Artificial, Biting, Bitter, Peach, Strawberry, Vegetal

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 9 g 32 OZ / 946 ML

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61
drank Apple Strudel by Fusion Teas
2880 tasting notes

From StarFevre! Thanks so much! I always wanted to try this one… though the resulting tea is less lovely than the name promises. I surely don’t expect hibiscus in anything called ‘Apple Strudel’. So that tanginess just ruins the cup. Hints of apple and cinnamon otherwise. And black currant? hmm. If the tangy ingredients were removed, this would be much better. Probably similar to Davids Forever Nuts. Just an odd combo of ingredients here.

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84

I finally added all the teas from StarFevre I received a while ago to my Steepster cupboard (again another BIG thank you for those!) Other than the lovely package from SkySamurai and a couple samples from Whispering Pines, I have not acquired any teas in 2019, so I’m doing GOOD so far! I knew I was doing good when I didn’t buy any of my beloved Coconut Banana Cream Pie tea that was recently reblended. That told me I can stay strong! That insane number of teas in my cupboard will be a big NO to any tea purchases, definitely. I need to work on my beloved, precious teas I already have! But I can’t refuse when other Steepsterers want to have a cupboard clear out and send me some things to try. :D But hopefully the cupboard never gets this ridiculous ever again. Yowzas.

This is exactly the tea I was craving today even though I’ve only had this tea once before… somehow I remembered it! Sadly, I only bought a sample from Fusion, but if I’m craving it, that must mean I should have ordered more. It sounded like a chutney tea to me. It has huge mango cubes with some pepper and what looks like two types of oolong: the long black wiry type but also the occasional dark green bundle. The smoke in the name probably scares people away, but it really isn’t that smoky. The fruit flavor is nice with only an occasional hint of spice. The sip is very smooth, like a syrup.. The second steep was the same. It KIND OF reminds me of 52Teas Smoky Butterscotch Peach? That would be the closest tea I’ve experienced anyway… This blend is fine, but I guess I imagine something even more delicious? More mango, more spice? I guess it’s tough to compete with what you WANT something to be. This is a great base to pair mango with though…. smooth, sweet & syrupy and never bitter…

Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 19 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min

tea-sipper

Also, I really am craving a ripe pu-erh… flavored with marshmallow. But somehow none exist? Then I’m wondering which is my best marshmallow tea to combine with a ripe pu-erh…..

tea-sipper

….meant to say, if anyone knows of any marshmallow pu-erh, or knows the pu-erh that tastes most like marshmallow?

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85
drank Amazon Spice Guayusa by Fusion Teas
70 tasting notes

5th day of the Sara Advent Tea Calendar! As soon as the hot water touched the leaf, the kitchen smelled like… is that the guayusa? It smells like tulsi!

It doesn’t taste that much like tulsi. But it does a tiny bit to me. It’s sweet and herby with a hint of spice, cinnamon? It tastes like warm goodness. Mmm.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Herbs, Tulsi

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

Guayusa is a close cousin of yerba mate, the two caffeinated herbals from South America. I find guayusa to be a bit more naturally sweet than yerba mate, but they both taste sort of like gunpowder green tea to me — a sort of tobacco smoke, grassy green taste (I usually get sort of hay-like notes from both guayusa and yerba mate), with occassionally mild notes of coffee bean (I usually get more of the coffee notes if the leaf has been roasted, which it was not in this case).

Tulsi is an Indian basil that has three varieties, and usually when I encounter it in tea, they are typically using a blend of the three types rather than just one (krishna, rama, or vana). Krishna tulsi has more of a purple color and a taste described as being clove or pepper-like, rama tulsi has green leaves and a more mellow taste than the krishna variety, and the vana variety has light green leaves and is described as having a more citrus flavor. Tulsi to me typically tastes a little minty and a little citrusy with a peppery aftertaste (for a typical 3-varietal blend).

There is lemongrass in this, which would account for a lot of that herby, grassy citrus flavor.

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84
drank Roasted Pumpkin Mate by Fusion Teas
733 tasting notes

I got a sample of this from Mastress Alita! Thank you!

This seems like it’s going to be an interesting one. I usually strongly dislike mate, but this smells intriguing. Pumpkin spice with nutty toasted notes. I can smell the puffed rice and pumpkin seeds especially, paired with this scent I don’t have a name for, but smell often in Asian grocery stores. Hmm. Dunno what that is.

I didn’t realize this had stevia in it already. Oops. I added some before I saw that. Luckily it’s not a lot, so this didn’t get too crazy sweet. The flavor is surprising! It just tastes like pumpkin pie to me. Smooth, savory pumpkin with cinnamon and ginger’s warmth. But I also taste unmistakable graham cracker crust. There is a bit of rooibos flavor, which I’m not usually a fan of, but in this blend, it works. This tastes like it was baked in the oven in the best way. And I’m not getting a single mate note.

Here’s hoping the caffeine kicks in soon. (Unrelated: I unfollowed a ton of followers who haven’t posted in 3 years or longer… so now my Followers/Following looks super unbalanced. Hmm.)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Graham Cracker, Nutty, Pumpkin, Roasted, Rooibos, Toasted, Toasted Rice, Toasty

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 24 OZ / 709 ML
gmathis

(Unrelated … has anybody ever figured out how to make the followers who just want to sell you mattresses go away? I have several pages of those that I wish begone.)

Mastress Alita

gmathis: I post those type of Followers on the Spammers on Steepster thread on the forums.

gmathis

I’ve tried to do the same … just hard to keep up with them!

Nattie

I have one trying to sell me ‘little blue pills’ at the moment

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83

I bought this from Fusion a while ago, in fact I think it was last year’s Black Friday sale. I have a bunch of sample sizes I ordered because I love so many of Fusion’s teas, but to me, the new batches sometimes seemed like they tasted older than the YEARS old blends I still have in the cupboards. what the heck? I don’t know. This was a new to me blend, I had to try one that was maple and blackberry. I only used one teaspoon and there was about half a blackberry in my infuser. The black tea was fairly small, so I guess it was going to be a deep cup anyway. I prefer a deep black tea with blackberry flavor. I wouldn’t necessarily call the sweet flavor ‘maple’, but there was a lot of blackberry flavor. The black tea base is just okay, though I’m glad it wasn’t lighter. I’m also glad the blackberry leaves didn’t leave an off putting flavor. The second steep had an even deeper flavor, and still plenty of blackberry. Overall, it’s like a sweet blackberry black tea and I’m a fan.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug // 15 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep

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88

Trick or Treat! This sampler is over a year old now, but the leaf still has a nice aroma that reminds me a bit of a Nestle Crunch Bar only with a sharper cocoa aroma rather than milk chocolate, and also some hints of nuttiness. It’s very pleasant. I really like the Roasted Pumpkin Mate blend by Fusion teas, and have been meaning to get around to trying some of the other mate blends from my sampler pack.

The flavor is nice, though the chocolate isn’t the rich fudgy sort of taste of the chocolate tea I had yesterday; it’s more of a cocoa flavor with some subtle bittersweet notes, and reminds me a lot of the taste of pure cocoa shells. The tea does have notes a strong roasted nuts note coming through from the roasted mate/toasted rice/almond combo, and a subtle coffee note from the barley/chicory, and both of these flavors compliment the cocoa taste nicely. The tea is overall quite sweet, and I believe that’s because some rooibos is added to the blend, because the sweetness tastes a bit honey or caramel like.

Overall, a really good mate blend, and those can be hard to find!

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Honey, Nutty, Roasted nuts, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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77

I was pleasantly surprised by this tea-I was expecting it to just taste like rooibos but i can taste the toasted caramel flavor. It legit does taste like it sounds. You do get that slight woody rooibos flavor though. But overall it’s not bad! I don’t think the caramel is supposed to be super strong and sweet which makes sense but I like caramel teas that are strong and sweet so I don’t think this is for me-but glad I got to try it!

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92

May Flowers! Time to work on another of my old Fusion Tea samplers. This is a tulsi/rooibos blend with lots of florals — chamomile, lavender, and rose — as well as a touch of ginger and cinnamon spices and some lemon verbena. Since I’ve been pretty interested in tulsi teas, I was pretty excited for this one!

It has a very unique scent; the rooibos comes out a lot, with a sort of sweet fruity/woody aroma, and there is a lot of sweetness and a hint of a citrus and pepper scent. Brewed, the aroma is a bit more mellow, coming out more of a honeyed rooibos scent, with some floral notes wafting from the cup. I really enjoy the flavor; the tea has a slightly nutty/woody taste to the base, but it is very sweet. There is a very noticeable minty note, and a somewhat subtle hint of spice that hits the back of the throat right at the end of the sip. Oddly enough, I don’t really get a strong floral flavor from the tea, but I have a feeling the florals are adding to the sweetness of the cup.

The way the flavors come together here really works for me; this is probably one of the nicest herbal blends I’ve tried, and makes a very nice late evening sipper. This is a tea I’d gladly restock in my collection.

Flavors: Honey, Mint, Rooibos, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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85

Chai to Stay Dry! I don’t think I’ve had a pu-erh chai yet this month, and I really have been trying to get to those Fusion Tea samplers that I’ve had sitting around forever! So this is a good excuse to get to this blend of chai spices, caramel, and a pu-erh tea base.

I have to say, this is a very satisfying chai. As far as more “traditional” tasting chais, I’d say that this one and Reena’s Chai from TeaSource are probably my favorite I’ve tried this month. Like Reena’s Chai, this chai also has a very balanced flavor of spices, while offering a bit of natural sweetness that really compliments the spice flavors and allows them to have a nice warmth in the mouth, but to not be overbearing or leave an unpleasant lingering heat. I get this nice mix of ginger and clove in the main sip, with just a hint of pepper in the background, but the sip closes on a sweet note. I wouldn’t say there is a pronounced caramel flavor, but certainly a noticable sweetness that works well with the spices. The pu-erh here is very smooth, without any of the pronounced earthy notes I get from, say, Scottish Caramel Pu-erh (or the hint of fishy smell I get from that blend, either). I think as soon as I finish off my Scottish Caramel Pu-erh, this tea is going to be it’s replacement in my cupboard. It may not be as caramel-y, but the base tea alone gives it a more pleasant flavor on the whole, and it’s just a really good daily-drinker chai, to boot!

Flavors: Clove, Ginger, Pepper, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
tea-sipper

This one is a cupboard essential for me!

Mastress Alita

This one is definitely making my list for a future order. One of the best chais I had over my month of chais!

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36

Tried this one again iced, and made a second warm cuppa just to sipdown the rest of my sampler, and had a very different experience than with my initial cup. Both the second warm cuppa and the iced brew had a noticably strange, unpleasant taste that I just didn’t recall on that first cup. It’s sort of an acrid taste, like something just doesn’t seem to be meshing with that overwhelming lime flavor at all. I think it may be the red rooibos in the blend, and I’m suspecting that it may have all sunk to the bottom of my sampler, so that I ended up not getting much of it in my first cup, while an abundance of it steeped out in my jug of iced tea and my sipdown hot cup (I certainly don’t remember my first cup being such a vivid reddish-orange color as both of these cups are presenting). I don’t really think it is complimenting the yerba mate and the green rooibos, and am confused why it was necessary to include it at all… I like red rooibos just fine, but here it seems to be a very clashing flavor and the result is a bit off-putting to me. I’m going to have to lower my score on this one, and I’m a bit glad for this sip down.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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36

Green March! I decided I needed a break from green teas so I decided to try this sampler I purchased from Fusion Teas a while ago in a yerba mate sampler set. Lime is a rather under-represented flavor overall in my collection, but I enjoy tart citrus flavors, so I’m certainly interested in exploring that flavor profile more. Green yerba mate leaves and a lime flavor profile just seems to fit in well for the “green theme” I have going for this month, so why not roll with it?

In the past I’ve usually found Fusion’s flavors don’t quite pop if I only use a teaspoon of leaf, and even they suggest a teaspoon and a half, so I usually go for two teaspoons. The leaf did have a very creamy lime scent, and I could make out some nuttiness in the aroma, but the brewed cup had a stronger aroma of yerba mate leaf (it reminds me of the scent of gunpowder green tea, vegetal and a little smoky), with heavy lime overtones.

There is a nice, strong lime flavor to the tea, and it accompanies the natural flavors of the yerba mate leaf well, which do actually manage to shine through the strong flavoring — though subtly — adding hints of grass and lemon-citrus as soft background notes. I do wish the lime was just a bit less strong, as it is hard to make out some of the other flavors in the tea — there is a very subtle hint of nuttiness left on the tongue in the aftertaste, and a slight coconuty sweetness to the cup, and I would’ve liked these flavors to be brought to the forefront a little more. Overall, though, if you like the taste of lime, it’s a nice tea. I found it growing on me a little more with each sip, and will probably use up my sampler trying out an iced batch, as I feel the lime flavor will really shine in a cold brew.

Flavors: Citrus, Coconut, Grass, Lime, Nutty, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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92

This is one of my favorite yerba mate blends that I’ve tried and a staple for me on mornings when I need an extra caffeine boost! I love anything and everything pumpkin, so I was very interested to try this one out, and while it didn’t have much of a pumpkin flavor, the pumpkin spices were so strong and flavorful and the tea so robust that after I finished off my sampler I restocked this one in my cupboard. The tea is best to me when a little heavy on the leaf, but it’s really economical so I don’t particularly feel bad about making a really strong cup; I usually use two teaspoons for a standard size 10 oz. mug or a tablespoon for one of my extra large size 12 oz. mugs. The base of the tea is this really nice blend of toasty roasted mate and sweetness from the rooibos and honeybush, and each sip is filled with a lot of tasty spices, namely cinnamon, clove, and mace (which tastes like a more robust nutmeg). I find that I don’t need to add sweetener, as the natural sweetness of the base and the stevia in the blend balances the spices well. The blend has a very rich, toasty, pumpkin spice feel, and I find it gives a very warm and toasty appeal. This is an excellent autumn blend that can be enjoyed any time, and it works well as a latte as well.

Full Review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/10/10/tea41/

Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Nutty, Sweet, Toasty

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Lexie Aleah

Just made a cup of this tonight from the sample you sent me of it. It’s delicious! I didn’t need to add milk or sweeten my cup either.

Mastress Alita

It makes a nice latte if in the mood, but certainly isn’t necessary how some really astringent/overly spicy black chais can get. Always nice to have options with chais!

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66

All of the ingredients in this blend sounded promising (green honeybush, a few fruits, roses) but the not-so-genuine peachy flavor is overpowering any other flavors that are there. The peach needed to be toned down, but possibly using 1 1/2 teaspoons was a bad idea.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 minute steep

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77

This is a smooth and relaxing too but it doesn’t have as much smoke as I’m used to with my regular Lapsang. I added a little extra and steeped three minutes as instructed – the tea is very dark and I can tell further steeping would have ruined the cup. I don’t blame the strength of the smoke on the amount of time, in other words, but just to describe the tea as it was crafted to be.

Even though not smoky, it’s a nice black cup that adds a small difference for a standard black cup of tea. Would be especially good in the morning or afternoons. A little plain though.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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83
drank Red Vineyard by Fusion Teas
100 tasting notes

A very pleasant tea – I got my samples tonight and loved the sample bags. I’m a dork but all that matters. The smell of this one delicious – had to take about 10 sniffs before brewing.

Brewed a large tsp in my cup for about 4 minutes. The taste is pure and smooth and very clean. The black tea base is not overpowering at all but does a good base. I don’t taste wine much and only a tiny bit of strawberries – mainly I taste peach flavor. It’s kind of like a strawberry inspired peach. It’s refreshing and fun and light

Flavors: Peach, Strawberry

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90

Oh my – what a flavor! I’ll admit it: I’m one of those people who started drinking teas and who continue to drink tea more or less because they taste good. I’m learning about all of the health benefits and such as an afterthought; so when I smelled this tea in the storefront in McKenny, I was most excited to give it a whirl!

Okay, I’ll break it down. Delicate green tea with mildly tart berry flavor, not overly sweet or bitter. I love the lemongrass and the pomegranate! The color is a very pleasant lemony-green hue, and goes down well without sweetener.

Overall, a mild tea with a light complexity that made me come back for a second brew. This blend rivals the jasmine green tea pearls that I’ve had from Fusion Teas, which is my all-time favorite brew.

Flavors: Goji, Lemongrass

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60

So I’m a sucker for Chamomile teas. I’m about to rip open a cheaper bag of tea from my infant drinking days and plant me some of these little flowers in my garden if they’re truly that easy to grow!

This blend, however, left me a little disappointed. The vanilla bean, coconut, licorice, ect. were all so strong that I was left with an extremely sweet cup with very little tart or tangyness (which I would have expected from that lemongrass). The complexity of the sweet ingredients kind of left the chamomile overpowered! The Honeybush also left that roasty flavor in the back of my throat. I knew that the ingredients in this tisane were strong, but I didn’t realize HOW strong! I just took another look at the package, and it looks like there’s stevia leaf in this – no wonder there was a lingering sweetness that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

If you’re looking for a vanilla-forward, sweet blend, this one definately fits the bill! I didn’t like this tea because of my own personal flavor preferences, but the dry goods were high quality and they steeped nicely – so I’ll recommend.

Flavors: Coconut, Licorice, Vanilla

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90
drank Jasmine Pearls by Fusion Teas
15 tasting notes

These little tightly rolled little leaves open up beautifully in water! As I am still learning about teas, I had never seen pearl-rolled tea before; and it smelled beautifully in the bag. As the water steeped, the aroma really came out of the tea! It’s a sweet cup with playful floral tones, and when brewed properly, has no astringent or bitter properties. I drank this tea without sweetener, and I love sugar! This is literally my favorite green tea to date. Just a beautiful aroma and pleasingly sweet flavor!

Flavors: Jasmine

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

You totally can’t judge this tea by the smell of the dried leaves alone. When you take a whiff of the dry blend, it’s more of a caramel creme smell. It’s only after hot water melts the chocolate bits that the smell of chocolate come through; along with notes of toasty vanilla and a subtle hint of floral. I didn’t find the floral rose notes until I began looking for them, but after you’re aware, it does add a nice complexity to the cup.

I should also add that I’ve never liked a chocolate desert type tea. I guess I’ve changed my mind!

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Rose, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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85
drank Pink Earl Grey by Fusion Teas
15 tasting notes

This was my first experience with a green earl gray- I wasn’t sure how to feel about the mix of delicate green tea with bergamot flavoring. The scent is floral (rosebuds) and bergamot, with a clean green tea undertone. I brewed a little cool at 165 rather than 175, and the tea leaves opened beautifully even at this temperature. The first note I got was the bergamot and rose; but the green tea melted into the flavor as it washes over the tongue. I am still developing my palette and I did notice a butteryness to the flavor, but it’ll take a few more steeps before I puzzle that flavor out. The second steep was just as good as the first, and I even sampled that one iced!

Flavors: Bergamot, Rhubarb, Rose

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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10
drank Black Cherry Black by Fusion Teas
564 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping TTB

I can’t stand artificial cherry flavoring because it reminds me of the liquid cold medicine I took as a child. However, I recently discovered a cherry-flavored tea that I LOVE (Fava’s Cloud 9), so I decided to give this one a try. My mistake! This basically tastes like someone added Triaminic to a cup of black tea. I rarely pour out a cup of tea without finishing it, but no shame on this one!

Flavors: Artificial, Cherry

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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77
drank Pumpkin Rooibos by Fusion Teas
2880 tasting notes

Additional notes: Sipdown with some added Simpson & Vail nutmeg. Thanks again Ost!

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